Hiroshi Tanahashi vs. AEW World Champion CM Punk at the AEW X NJPW Forbidden Door PPV event was set up last week on AEW Dynamite. However, the match was nixed because Punk suffered a foot injury, and will be out of action for some time as he recovers from surgery.
Punk will not be relinquishing the title, but rather an Interim World Champion will be crowned at the PPV event through an AEW Interim World Championship Eliminator Series.
The winner of a battle royal will take on Jon Moxley this Wednesday night on Dynamite with the winner of that match advancing to Forbidden Door. The other side of the tournament will see Tanahashi take Hirooki Goto at this Sunday’s NJPW Dominion event. The winner of that bout will advance to Forbidden Door and wrestle AEW’s tournament winner in the finals to crown the interim champion.
During today’s Wrestling Observer Radio, Dave Meltzer discussed why Tanahashi vs. Goto was booked.
“I’ve been asked over and over again about what’s the deal with Tanahashi and Goto. I don’t have a great answer for ya. This was New Japan’s call. It wasn’t AEW’s call. They both called...it was a combination, obviously, both had to agree to it. New Japan wanted this match. I think we all know Tanahashi is winning and I think there was just the mentality of…”
Bryan Alvarez interrupted and stated he doesn’t think it’s a lock that Tanashi wins the match. Meltzer added that he doesn’t believe that Tony Khan wants Goto in the finals of the tournament and would be stunned if it happened.
If you use any portion of the quotes from this article please credit Wrestling Observer Radio with a h/t to WrestlingNews.co for the transcription. A WrestlingObserver.com subscription includes the Wrestling Observer Newsletter and daily audio shows in addition to thousands of hours of archived audio shows.